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Maximizing Patient & Caregiver Care

Maximizing Patient & Caregiver Care

For many patients, the impact of cancer can extend far beyond their personal journey with the illness. It’s also a harsh reality often felt by the family members or friends who take on the role of informal caregiver. With about 1.6 million new cancer cases expected to be diagnosed in the United States this year, caregivers play a significant part in the cancer healthcare system. This fact underscores why clinicians need to have a good relationship with the caregivers of cancer patients. The most recent Cancer Experience Survey results, based on the responses of more than 2,000 patients and caregivers across the U.S. and sponsored by Cancer Treatment Centers of America®, provide us with helpful insights about what’s important to caregivers. The results also help us understand how clinicians can work better to deliver the best care possible.   Speak My Language There is a lot of complex terminology in cancer care treatment, particularly when combined with the emotional fog of a recent cancer diagnosis. In order to make the best decisions, caregivers and patients must understand what’s happening during a treatment course. The most recent Cancer Experience Survey found that fewer than half of caregivers understand important medical terms, such as genomic testing, immunotherapy, and integrative treatment. Clinicians should make sure to take the time to answer questions, and even request verbal confirmation, when explaining cancer treatment and care.   Coordinating Care While seemingly an optimistic goal in an overcrowded, complex system, coordinated care is the key to providing the best care possible for patients with cancer. In the most recent Cancer Experience Survey, caregivers reported a 37%...
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